Georgia Man Arranging Methamphetamine Transactions From Within Federal Prison Sentenced To 300 Additional Months

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Brian Stanton, 38, of Athens, Georgia, was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison following his trial conviction on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence.

“Cooperative and concerted efforts like Operation Arrowhead enable our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to identify and investigate those distributing addictive and deadly controlled substances in both our urban and rural communities,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “We remain vigilant to support their investigative efforts and will aggressively prosecute those engaged in drug trafficking throughout North Florida.”

Stanton was already serving federal sentences for possession of a firearm and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine when he was arrested on the new charge. While incarcerated at a federal prison in Atlanta, Stanton used a contraband cellular telephone to arrange for the distribution of at least 24 pounds of methamphetamine through various sources of supply outside the prison between June 2019 and November 2020. His new sentence will run consecutive, meaning Stanton will not begin serving the 300 months, until after his current period of incarceration is complete. Upon release, Stanton will be on supervised release for ten years.

“This sentence demonstrates the commitment of the DEA to work with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure that those who continue to engage in criminal activities and bring this poison into our Florida communities will be held accountable for their actions,” said Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “I commend the men and women who worked tirelessly on this investigation to dismantle this criminal drug network in order to keep their communities safe and healthy.”

“It is a constant battle to keep drug dealers off the street, and protect our families from their poisonous grip,” said Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett.  “It takes federal, state, and local agencies working together as one team to make it happen.  All law enforcement officers who came together for the success of Operation Arrowhead are to be commended.  However, our mission would have been unsuccessful without the assistance of public citizens who take the initiative to say something when they see something.” 

“When it comes to those who endeavor to commit serious crimes, jurisdictional boundaries are of no concern or consequence,” said Perry Police Chief Cruse. “The only way to disrupt the abilities and markets of those dedicated to distributing illicit substances in our rural communities is through strong cooperative enforcement efforts. The investigation and prosecution of all those convicted in Operation Arrowhead was made possible by means of collaborative efforts. To have state, local, and federal partners dedicate competent professionals to this investigation are a positive example of an effective alliance with substantive results. The Perry Police Department and the City of Perry are appreciative of all who participated in this investigation.”

In addition to Stanton, the operation resulted in the conviction of 23 other individuals, including:

  • Erica Keeler, 22, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to time served
  • Kristin Walker , 32 of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to time served
  • Audrey Newmeyer, 56, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to 18 months in federal prison
  • Jeffrey Thomley, Jr., 32, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to 18 months in federal prison
  • Russell Walker, Jr., 34, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to 24 months in federal prison
  • Carlton Hull, 50, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to 30 months in federal prison
  • Kammra Witt, 53, of Silver Springs, Florida; Sentenced to 36 months in federal prison
  • Heather Vann, 40, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to 48 months in federal prison
  • Connie Sullivan, 52, of Trenton, Florida; Sentenced to 48 months in federal prison
  • Roger Slaughter, 36, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison
  • Kathryn Comolli, 41, of Edgewater, Florida; Sentenced to 72 months in federal prison  
  • Mark Johns, 50, of Lake City, Florida; Sentenced to 72 months in federal prison
  • James Watkins, 37, of Fort White, Florida; Sentenced to 108 months in federal prison
  • Abel Guerra, 60, of Perry, Florida; Sentenced to 114 months in federal prison
  • Cedrick Gaddy, 44, of Perry, Florida, Sentenced to 120 months in federal prison
  • Paul Pridgeon, 73, of Mayo, Florida; Sentenced to 144 months in federal prison
  • Robert Murphy, 53 of Tallahassee, Florida; Sentencing set for June 15, 2022
  • Kevin Lambert, 48, of Brooksville, Florida; Sentencing set for June 16, 2022
  • Brian Morgan, 43 of Brooksville, Florida; Sentencing set for July 13, 2022
  • Fawn Hurley, 37, of Mayo, Florida;   Sentencing set for July 14, 2022                    
  • Beyah Besha,44, of Perry, Florida; Sentencing set for July 27, 2022                       
  • Robert Segrest , 40, of Perry, Florida; Sentencing set for August 4, 2022
  • Stephen Gamble, 49, of Perry, Florida, Sentencing set for August 22, 2022

This conviction was the result of a collaborative investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, Perry Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Operation Arrowhead was a joint investigation targeting methamphetamine traffickers in several rural North Florida counties.

Operation Arrowhead was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gary Milligan, Eric Mountin, James A. McCain, Kaitlin Weiss, and Christopher Elsey.

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.